GUYMON, Okla. Saddle bronc rider Glen O'Neill had mixed emotions when he saw what he had drawn for the Wrangler ProRodeo Tour round Sunday afternoon in Guymon.
O'Neill (Didsbury, Alberta) had drawn the horse known as Big Jet, the same one that he rode at the 2004 Pace Picante ProRodeo Challenge in Omaha, Neb., when he broke his leg. At the time, the horse was owned by Three Hills Rodeo, but since then Stace Smith has acquired the horse and brought him to Guymon's Pioneer Days Rodeo.
O'Neill, who returned to action in March, got his revenge and set an arena record with a 91-point score on the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company Scoreboard to win the Tour round. He also won the aggregate title with 172 points on two rides. This marked his first win of the year and he picked up checks worth $4,833.
"I liked the way it turned out today much better than last time," said O'Neill. "This is definitely a confidence booster and I am glad to have that behind me."
After the ride, O'Neill tipped his hat to the horse showing his respect for such a great animal athlete.
Guymon marked the final stop on the 12-city Wrangler ProRodeo Winter Tour. The top 12 contestants from the tour will now compete in the Pace Chute-out (June 17-18) in Reno, Nev.
Bareback rider Matt Mosher didn't have a chance to make the Pace Chute-out on Sunday but he didn't let that stop him from setting an arena record at the Henry C Hitch Pioneer Arena in Guymon. Mosher (Wildhorse, Colo.) rode Harper, Morgan and Carr's River Boat Annie for 90 points to win the Tour round. He won the aggregate title with 171 points on two head and picked up a check worth $3,591.
Another Colorado cowboy finished atop the leaderboard in the steer wrestling. Chad Van Campen (Granada) turfed his steer in 3.4 seconds to win the Tour round and the aggregate title with 16.8 seconds on four head. Birch Negaard (Buffalo, S.D.) made the biggest jump in the Tour points moving from 29th to a tie for 12th with 49 points. He is tied with Todd Suhn (Brighton, Colo.). The tiebreaker will be based on the Jack Daniel's World Standings from 2004 plus money won in 2005 through May 8. Unfortunately, Negaard missed much of the 2004 season with a shoulder injury finishing 28th in the world with $35,549 while Suhn was fourth with $142,699. Thus far this year, Negaard is not in the top 50 while Suhn is 32nd with $10,276.
Veteran ropers Jake Barnes and Kory Koontz won the Tour round on Sunday afternoon with a time of 7.8 seconds. Barnes (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Koontz (Sudan, Texas) finished with 92 points each for the Winter Tour placing them second and first, respectively. Nelson Linares (Plant City, Fla.) and Walt Woodard (Stockton, Calif.) won the aggregate with a total time of 38.6 seconds on four head. Linares and Woodard also qualified for the Pace Chute-out.
Tie-down roper Stran Smith took advantage of the relatively short drive to Guymon to pocket $7,371 while picking up the Tour and aggregate titles. Smith (Childress, Texas) roped and tied his calf in 9.2 seconds and won the aggregate with a four head total of 38.0 seconds. Smith qualified for the Pace Chute-out in sixth with 69.5 points.
Colorado cowgirl Shali Lord (Lamar) smoked the barrel racing field with a time of 16.92 seconds to win the Tour round. Lord, who grew up in nearby Texhoma picked up the aggregate title as well with a total time of 51.82 seconds on three runs. She bought her horse Slider last year and Molly Powell borrowed him during the 2004 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. This year, Lord has been on a roll and she has now qualified for her first Pace Chute-out. She finished second with 134 points.
In the bull riding, Steve Woolsey (Spanish Fork, Utah) took top honors in Guymon with an 89-point ride on Stace Smith Pro Rodeo's Wild Berry to win the Tour round and finished with 177 points on two head to win the aggregate. He also jumped from 24th in the Tour points prior to ninth. Joining Woolsey at the Pace Chute-out will be reigning world champion Dustin Elliott (Tecumseh, Neb.), who finished tied for 10th with 50 points. Elliott entered Guymon 26th. He finished third in the Tour round with an 84-point ride on Joe Simon's Black Cat. He was second in the aggregate with 172.